January 27, 2021
$260 | 6 Weeks
From Goodnight Moon to The Cat in the Hat, most of us have fond memories of favorite picture books from our childhood. Perhaps you have thought, “I wonder if I could write a picture book of my own?” Maybe you already have a great idea, percolating away, and would like a little guidance getting started. This class is for you!
Picture books have changed greatly over the last few decades, and the market is wide open for fresh ideas. Picture books are no longer simply humorous adventures or whacky animals (though there’s plenty of room for those, too.) Picture books can be about anything and everything, from concepts to emotions to fantasy to non-fiction. Even wordless picture books are a category now—and yes, “wordless” picture books still require writers! Whatever your idea is, whatever you like to write about—there’s room for you in today’s market. What better way to start the New Year than getting serious about shaping those ideas into something on the page?
If you’re new to the picture book genre (or children’s writing in general,) join us in this six-week intensive where we’ll take that idea of yours and turn it into a manuscript! Along the way, we’ll touch on some of the fundamentals of creating picture books—it’s not as easy as it may seem, but it’s a genre that is richly rewarding and full of creative opportunities. And no worries—no artistic ability is required to write a picture book. This class will focus on the writing end of the project, and there is no need to worry about ‘finding’ an illustrator on your own to complete your manuscript.
How It Works
Each Wednesday, I will post a lecture on a topic pertaining to writing a picture book manuscript. There will be brief homework assignments each week, and they are optional. (But highly recommended.) We will have a group classroom area to share our homework, give each other feedback, and share tips, questions, thoughts, and book recommendations each and every week. Let’s get to know each other and use the class as an opportunity to share resources about writing for children, or the writing process in general. (PS: None of the classes are ‘live,’ so you check in as you are able and read each lecture at your leisure.)
Each student will receive plenty of weekly one-on-one critiquing from myself. In weeks 4, 5, and 6, we will draft and revise full manuscripts. At this point, I will match students in pairs so you can workshop each other for an added perspective. (But every week, you will always have lengthy private feedback from myself as well.)
By the time our six weeks is up, you’ll have had multiple opportunities to have your work read and critiqued, go back and revise, and share your work again. (Or start a new manuscript if you like.) You will leave class with at least one manuscript with notes from class that you can continue revising all the way to submission-ready!
What We’ll Cover
- What picture books are… and what they aren’t
- Why picture books are usually 32 pages
- The various categories of picture books and age ranges
- Topics of picture books
- Industry Awards for Picture Book Excellence
- Thinking visually!
- How to use a storyboard
- Opening lines–hook your young reader
- Revising, cutting, and trimming
- Tension and pacing
- Character “desire”
- Page turns
- Read Aloud-ability
- Searching for an Agent
- Writing a query letter
I hope to see you in class. We’ll do lots of reading of picture books, as well, so come prepared to share your favorites! Happy Writing!
Why Take a Children’s Writing Course with Writers.com?
- We welcome writers of all backgrounds and experience levels, and we are here for one reason: to support you on your writing journey.
- Small groups keep our online writing classes lively and intimate.
- Work through your weekly written lectures, course materials, and writing assignments at your own pace.
- Share and discuss your work with classmates in a supportive class environment.
- Award-winning instructor Kelly Bingham will offer you direct, personal feedback and suggestions on every assignment you submit.
Want to hear more from Kelly on the young adult poetry novel? See her Writers.com interview.
Learn how to create a children’s picture book. Reserve your spot today!
Learn more about how our courses work here, and contact us with any other questions.
Student Feedback for Instructor Kelly Bingham
Kelly was terrific as a teacher. Available, open, honest and also caring with her comments and feedback. Kelly was extremely helpful and willing and open to discuss her comments and lessons as well as the books on the reading list. The lessons were presented on time and her feedback by email and in the forums was terrific and timely. The course material was well-organized with many wonderful examples provided for each lesson. And a great reading list. Suzanne Purvis
Kelly is an excellent teacher. Her lectures were fabulous, and her approach was both professional and generous. I felt encouraged and challenged every week, and I have a much better understanding of this genre because of her guidance. Barbara Santucci
Kelly is so obviously an expert in her area. I loved her personable and positive approach to critique and feedback. This is a rigorous writing class. However, that’s what I wanted. I really feel that I gained a lot of insight and skill during this time. I already have recommended these classes to friends. : ) Heather Woodward